Review: “Paradigm” by More Than Machines

More Than Machines, an unsigned Electronic Djent Metalcore (a pun on EDM?) band based in Dublin, Ireland have spent the last two years writing and recording their debut album “Paradigm” and citing influences as wide ranging as Pendulum, Northlane and Architects the band have a press statement comment that reads: “‘Paradigm’ is all about models. The word itself refers to a model or representation of something. We feel the album represents our perspective on serious problems that a significant amount of people face today: from war to mental health, and how we are silently destroying ourselves.” The quartet of drummer Anthony Manly, bassist Brian Loughney, vocalist Conor Dooley and guitarist Sam Brown also don’t believe in the 12-foot gap normally seen at shows, so if you don’t come front and center they will bring the show down to you!

Opening track “Descend” was released way back in January which gives you an idea of how long the gestation period of “Paradigm” has been. Dooley’s American accent tinged vocals are an interesting choice, perhaps born out of his listening tastes as much as being a deliberate choice. What that does do however is release the band from any geographic ties and open up a bigger audience for the band. The track itself thunders along nicely with an interesting blend of DJent bounce infused with Tech-Metal riffs and programmed electronic breaks which give it fresh feel without the aggression of say “Alien” by Northlane. “Disconnect” builds from a dance track introduction that becomes buried in the mix, underpinning a guitar track that uses a Progressive poly-rhythmic Tech-Metal riff for the most part and keeps the band on the melodic side of heavy. Some spoken word almost rap screams are in interesting change up while the EDM break of looped broken vocals is also a nice touch. “Fade” brings a haunting quality with some “Sempiternal” era Bring Me The Horizon qualities and an unclean verse with accompanying “Bleigh!” that adds a weight to a longer track giving it a heavier bridge to contrast the melodic cleans to good effect. “Falling” picks up the pace with some more driven guitar work before ebbing and flowing between the heavy and melodic like the flow of the tides. A deep lyrical track about falling into depressions with vices becoming crutches that hold you up, it’s a thought provoking cut with some high quality ambient moments that give it a floating quality.

The second half of the album kicks in with a rap scream straight out of 1999 on “Hold Me Down” a modernized of Metalcore infused Tech-Metal riffs with plenty of nostalgic nods to other bands while making it their own. The EDM breakdown is reminiscent of “High & Low” by Palisades while the riffs go deep impact as More Than Machines demonstrate some serious skills in genre shifting seamlessly in one of the stand out cuts of the album. “Tempus Aeterna” has a bright elongated guitar solo from Sam Brown and adds groove to an over flowing cup of high quality sonics. It’s hard to imagine that on future releases Dooley will maintain the rap screams as they slim down their sound and perhaps trim down some of the excess. Not that the excess is a bad thing, it makes the album a joyous experience, but the band may chose to sharpen some elements and cut some from their sound as their career develops. The choral esq introduction to “Unsustainable” is built on by acoustic guitars with a layering approach that then brings in some menacing programmed electronics and big riffs. The message is that the lives we’re leading are unsustainable, divided and conquered by outside influences. The electronics build the atmosphere while the riffs bolster the sound and Dooley’s clean vocals are sublime. “War Within” speaks of restless thoughts with a Nu-Metal introspection minus some of the emotive edge. The big drum sound is a representation of an excellent mix and the cross over between the real and programmed drums is neatly done. The false ending DJent drops make a great breakdown sequence and bringing it back for some Spanish influenced acoustics makes for the perfect finale [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Descend
  2. Disconnect
  3. Fade
  4. Falling
  5. Hold Me Down
  6. Tempus Aeterna
  7. Unsustainable
  8. War Within

“Paradigm” by More Than Machines is out 18th October

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